Nowadays creating a profile on a social network is very simple. All we have to do is choose the name we want to use and then fill in some information on the profile of that new user. The problem is that, sometimes, someone else is impersonated who does not know what is being done on their behalf. Thus, these fake accounts could be used, among other things, to send spam, harass people or carry out fraud. In this tutorial we are going to learn how to know if a social media profile is official or a scam.
Large social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram cannot always stop the rise of fake accounts. For this reason, we are going to teach you to discover when a profile on social networks is official or false.
Sadly, creating a fake social media profile is one thing we see every day. If you are a very regular user of this type of network, surely on more than one occasion you have come across a false account. One of the reasons is because these are people who do not want to display their name publicly . After this way of acting, they are often motivated by hidden or illicit intentions.
Another motivation may be to harass or harm a specific person without that person knowing who is behind it. Sometimes it is not even about someone in particular, and they are toxic people who are dedicated to setting fire to that social network with pernicious comments. Another widely used tactic is creating fake social media profiles to increase your number of followers . This is done with the intention of gaining greater visibility, growing faster and obtaining sponsorships or advertising contracts that can bring them more economic benefits.
Furthermore, a fake social media profile is also sometimes created to commit scams and fraud . For example, you participate in a raffle and soon after a private message arrives that you have won. There they tell you that you have to click on a link and fill in some information. On those occasions, what you may suffer is a Phishing attack or that your personal data is collected for obscure purposes. Here it is very important before doing anything to study the URL well.
We currently live in a time of transition to the digital world. More and more teleworkers are being teleworked and we communicate online using different social networks.
Cybercriminals are going to use fake social media accounts to try to scam us, so we must be very careful with the information we give to others and act impeccably. A single mistake can cost us dearly and end up generating serious problems such as identity theft. That is why it is very important to learn to distinguish an official social media profile from a fake one. The signs that we have to look at and check are the following:
- Check that this social media account has a verification icon. Usually it is a blue check that serves to confirm that this account is legitimate. If we find that icon in the profile then we can consider it as reliable.
- Look at the posts and comments on that account in order to confirm its seniority.
- Avoid communication with any entity or organization from people’s profiles.
- Verify the additional information offered by the profile such as the location, the website and other information that is provided.
A typical scam often occurs by observing users who follow a bank, well-known online sales platforms, and more. The cybercriminal with a false social media profile pretends to be a bank worker and contacts the victim requesting their passwords to use online banking. Generally, that bank or important store has our data because we are their customers and they do not need them to meet our needs.
In this article for security for this type of thing, we recommend that social networks are not used. In that sense, it is better to use their official website, their app and get in direct contact with them through official channels.
Examples to verify that a profile is official
Now we are going to put three examples to show how to verify that an account is legitimate. Let’s start with a Twitter account. In this case that of Rafa Nadal, one of the best Spanish tennis players and athletes of all time. If we access your account we will see this information:
The first thing we see above indicated by the red date is that it has a blue check that indicates that this account has been verified. Also, another factor that gives us confidence is that this profile on social networks has been open since 2011. Another indicative data is the number of followers with 15.6 million followers, and also its location, which is Manacor, which is where this Mallorcan tennis player resides.
Now we go with another great social network Facebook and a great company like the BBVA bank. If we go to your account we can see this data that will help us confirm that it is an official account.
Here we see the blue verification icon both in the name of the bank and in its publications. Another way that indicates its authenticity is that its official website also appears, which you can easily contrast. Then we see that it has more than 5.7 million followers.
To end this section, now we go to Instagram and the actress Úrsula Corberó. This is what we would observe in your profile on social networks:
Here we have the blue check that confirms that the account has been verified. Also the 21.2 million followers is another point to take into account and that denotes that it is their official account.
The importance of reviewing followers and comments
We are not always going to find verified accounts, and it is then that the careful observation of both the followers and their comments are what can give us a clue. As for the followers, it would be worrying if we saw:
- That it has few.
- Their profiles do not have photos or are from other countries.
- We detect bots and automated comments or likes.
On the other hand, this does not mean that it is a false account, it can also be a symptom that, through deception, you are trying to move up in that social network. In addition, it is necessary to review the comments of that profile on social networks observing and taking into account that:
- We have to look at its age.
- That person’s interaction with other accounts.
Google as an ally to discover fake profiles
Google can also help us discover if a profile on social networks is false. The way to find out is very simple and we have to follow these steps:
- Let’s go to the account we want to check.
- We take a screenshot of the profile photo and cut it out. Another way if we are using a browser is to check if it lets you download it.
The next step we are going to take is to go to Google Images by clicking on this link . It can also be accessed by clicking on the red box that says Images .
Once done we touch the camera icon.
Then we choose a Upload an image and in Select the file we put the path of the profile photo of that account.
Finally, if we observe that the same photo or a very similar one with the same person appears many times, it begins to be suspicious. On the other hand, if you see that they appear on other social media profiles with other names, you can be sure that this social media profile is false.